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DP World CEO urges corporations to join Covid-19 vaccination distribution effort

30 March 2021


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Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem told World Government Summit Dialogues pandemic will not end until vaccine is available to everyone

The chairman and CEO of Dubai-based DP World has said the distribution of coronavirus vaccines “is humanity's biggest logistics challenge since the end of the Second World War”.

DP World has partnered with UNICEF to support vaccine distribution, offering its ports worldwide, logistics operations and expertise free of charge.

And Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem has challenged global corporations to join the distribution effort.

Speaking on the second day of the World Government Summit Dialogues during a virtual session called 'Will the Earth's Population be Vaccinated by 2021', Bin Sulayem, said: “Until the vaccine is available to everyone, the pandemic will not end for anyone. I invite you to join UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and DP World to make vaccines for all a reality.

“We can only do this together, with actions, not words, and commitment to a better future for all. Distributing Covid-19 vaccines is humanity's biggest logistics challenge since the end of the Second World War."

UNICEF manages COVAX, which aims to deliver at least 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2021, including at least 1.3 billion to the 92 economies eligible for support through the COVAX AMC.

The initiative is intended to accelerate the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines and guarantee fair and equitable access for every country globally.

UNICEF executive director, Henrietta Fore, said: “We still need to do more – the UAE has supported the COVAX facility in the actual distribution – in Ghana last week, it provided 2,500 fridges to help in the cold chain.

“We, as one world, need to ensure equitability, and although we are off to a good start with the target of 2 billion doses a year, it is likely to be at least end-2022 before we vaccinate a majority of the population – particularly in the least developed countries. Licensing is equally a challenge here."

While David Nabarro, special envoy on Covid-19 of the World Health Organisation (WHO), criticised the rampant nationalisation and selfishness when it came to vaccine distribution.

He said: "None of us are safe until we are all safe. None of us will be prosperous until we all have an opportunity to participate in global economic recovery. The only way to achieve this is together because the virus is not staying constant – it is changing all the time.

“Also, the current scenario with vaccine supplies is not enough – a small number of nations trying to outbid one another – unfortunately, this free for all approach doesn't work. Unless we do this as a globally coordinated program, we will have to wonder six months down the line where we went wrong."